Mayor Calls Casinos A Sure Bet For D'Iberville's Future Growth

As debris pickup continues in Harrison County's smallest city, there's a vision as to what a post Hurricane Katrina D'Iberville can look like. Mayor Rusty Quave says the storm creates opportunities the city may never see again.

"We're gonna have a lot of private money coming in from all over, whether it be casino operators, condos, business people," Quave says.

Business owner Bo Mandal says D'Iberville needs to cash in on its potential.

"It also gives us the opportunity to broaden our horizons in the south part of town where we want to do a waterfront development with the French Market concept that the mayor's talked about doing, to give us walkabout shopping centers and things like that."

The Florida architect who put those ideas on paper is not big on big development.

Jaime Correa says, "I lost my house in 1992 to Hurricane Andrew. I also helped in Punta Gorda after Hurricane Charley and I noticed that most planners come to these towns and they do big plans, but they forget there's real people there. They don't see that. We do, because I lost my house. I know what that is. So our plan is a plan for the people, not for the big developer."

His plan includes casinos. After years of fighting for its own gaming, the mayor says the new law allowing inland casinos will make it easier to get one and it will be a sure bet for more growth.

"A Walmart's an anchor store. Well, a casino's an anchor and all your other development would want to build around it like such as tourism, condos, hotels, shopping centers."

Quave says with plans on paper, there is no reason to wait.

"The City of D'Iberville's not looking back. We gonna go forward with this plan with or without the Gulf Coast community. We gotta take care of our own community."